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The next data center dinosaur: Traditional storage

  1. #1


    Posts : 22,578
    64-bit Windows 10

    The next data center dinosaur: Traditional storage


    I realized, after speaking with SanDisk, that traditional storage is all but dead technology. What's going to replace it will surprise you.

    Sure, I get it, things change slowly in data centers, but there's a rapid change that's sweeping through data centers all over the world: The switch to solid state storage.

    Notice that I didn't write, solid state drives, but I did write storage instead. There's a difference and what's about to happen will surprise just about everyone except storage professionals. (Hint: Your spinning disks and disk-like SSDs are going to be extinct soon, so don't be too sentimental or wax nostalgic over them.)

    I think just everyone realizes that the move to SSDs is already underway in the data center. Traditional storage is replacing tape. SSDs are replacing traditional disks. And solid state storage will replace SSDs.

    OK, I know a lot of you just decided that I'm full of radio tubes, but I'm not. Just as transistors (a solid state technology) replaced vacuum tubes, solid state storage will not only replace traditional storage (arrays of spinning disks), but it will also replace now traditional SSDs.

    Let me explain...
    Read more at: The next data center dinosaur: Traditional storage | ZDNet

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  2. #2


    Adelaide
    Posts : 1,338
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Linux Mint 17.1 MATE (64 bit)


    IMO, the problem with storage is transfer times.

    It takes hours to write a couple of TB to most HDDs.
    Even writing a couple of TB to an SSD (at 500 MB/s) takes too long.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 22,578
    64-bit Windows 10


    I await crystal storage with fiber optic data transfer.

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  4. #4


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    I would have to search for it, but they had saved the entire library of congress to a crystal about 10 years ago.
    So, the idea is an old one,, but the advancement you showed is new.

    I agree, this tech would be cool to have right now.
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  5. #5


    Joisey
    Posts : 315
    Windows 8.1 consumer 64 bit


    Quote Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
    IMO, the problem with storage is transfer times.

    It takes hours to write a couple of TB to most HDDs.
    Even writing a couple of TB to an SSD (at 500 MB/s) takes too long.
    They are slow because they both conform to the old hard disk access model - basically a serial device that delivers streams of bits that are addressed in a block and sector fashion. Hard Drives do this because that is their nature; SSD's do this for backward compatibility.

    What is needed is an overhaul of the system model where RAM is for immediate execution and disk is for long term storage. We need to somehow merge these two into one. Perhaps ALL storage will be executable and the desired data and code will be instantly mapped into the processor's address space for execution. When data is generated or changed there is no need to then store it to "disk" for long term storage but instead you can just leave it where it is. All storage will be both executable and permanent. Or something.

    Hey, whatever happened to magnetic bubble memory?
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  6. #6


    Adelaide
    Posts : 1,338
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Linux Mint 17.1 MATE (64 bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeytg View Post
    Hey, whatever happened to magnetic bubble memory?
    That is a good question.

    I also remember some discussion of nano-ferrite core memory.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1.1


    I worked with IBM mainframes in the 1990's to 2000's that had some solid state storage connected for high I/O online applications in four JES2 complexes with four of IBM's largest mainframes in every complex. SSD was OK but it didn't solve the costs associated with the huge amounts of data created daily. We also had 350 servers of every kind from IBM, NCR, Sun and HP. People have budgets and some divisions can't pay for solid state storage. Many are happy with tape as a medium when running batch jobs like billing. We had so many tapes that we installed silos with robots inside to mount tapes. The daily trip to underground storage with backups took a nice sized truck. Eventually we installed a fiber optic connection to the east coast and backed up some critical data there. I think the federal government might be able to make the switch to SSD before most businesses outside of Google and Microsoft. The feds don't worry about costs because they don't have to make profits to stay in business. Witness the $17.6 trillion federal debt .
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  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
    IMO, the problem with storage is transfer times.

    It takes hours to write a couple of TB to most HDDs.
    Even writing a couple of TB to an SSD (at 500 MB/s) takes too long.
    A typical HDD to HDD transfer on an average machine won't do anything like the rated SATA speed of 3 - 6 GB/s -- more like on average 100 mb/s.

    So to transfer 1 TB of data = (1000 X 1000 ) / 100 secs where unit is in mbs so actually it should only take around 2.7 - 3 hrs !!! - f. For 2 TB that would be around 6 Hrs,

    Even if the speed was 50 mb/s which is not unreasonable even for external USB then it STILL shouldn't take more than 12 hrs -- ok slow but internal HDD's would have to be really bad to only transfer at 50 mb/s.

    (OK long enough but not desperate -- also how many times as a home user are you really suffling around 2 TB of data regularly. I've done it about TWICE when I was moving and re0aranging Music and video libraries).

    I agree though if storage could be improved to approximate RAM then that would be fantastic. The internal BUS speeds of the MOBO's would need re-designing though.

    @lehnerus -- @ 500mb/s an SSD would take 1 SEC to transfer 1 GB so 1000 secs to transfer 1TB = = approx 17 mins !!! so around 30 mins for the 2 TB data transfer. I could live with that.

    What we really need is for the BUS speed to work faster even with current HDD's -- a horrible slow SATA laptop 2.5 inch drive can have a theoretical maximum speed of 3 GB/s -- exceeding by far your desired SSD speed of 500GB sec. There's no point in spending a fortune on getting HDD's or whatever to have data transfer rates of several GB/sec if the hardware they are used on can still only deliver 50 mb/s. !!!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  9. #9


    Adelaide
    Posts : 1,338
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Linux Mint 17.1 MATE (64 bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
    IMO, the problem with storage is transfer times.

    It takes hours to write a couple of TB to most HDDs.
    Even writing a couple of TB to an SSD (at 500 MB/s) takes too long.
    A typical HDD to HDD transfer on an average machine won't do anything like the rated SATA speed of 3 - 6 GB/s -- more like on average 100 mb/s.

    So to transfer 1 TB of data = (1000 X 1000 ) / 100 secs where unit is in mbs so actually it should only take around 2.7 - 3 hrs !!! - f. For 2 TB that would be around 6 Hrs,

    Even if the speed was 50 mb/s which is not unreasonable even for external USB then it STILL shouldn't take more than 12 hrs -- ok slow but internal HDD's would have to be really bad to only transfer at 50 mb/s.

    (OK long enough but not desperate -- also how many times as a home user are you really suffling around 2 TB of data regularly. I've done it about TWICE when I was moving and re0aranging Music and video libraries).
    You are randomly swapping between bit (b) and bytes (B).

    Every time I get a new (bigger) HDD I reorganise my storage setup to take advantage of the new capacity.
    Also, once I have racked up a stack of edited videos I back them up to my external HDD.
    Granted this isn't something I do on a daily basis.

    Recently one of my internal 2 TB HDDs started playing up (lost a bunch of sectors).
    I had to backup the surviving data to an external HDD.
    Luckily I was able to let it run overnight.

    My internal HDDs average ~50 MB/s.
    Sometimes they will sustain more than 100 MB/s for several minutes.
    Regularly the speed will drop to 30 MB/s or less.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    @lehnerus -- @ 500mb/s an SSD would take 1 SEC to transfer 1 GB so 1000 secs to transfer 1TB = = approx 17 mins !!! so around 30 mins for the 2 TB data transfer. I could live with that.
    That should be 2 seconds (500 MB x 2 seconds = 1000 MB).
    Therefore ~34 minutes for 1 TB.

    I don't like to perform multiple HDD transfer operations simultaneously.
    Also, various Windows services love to "strobe" my HDD too (e.g. DWM)
    You never know when one of these operations will interfere with another.

    As an example, TCP is supposed to detect corrupted data blocks and request new ones as necessary.
    However I have had corrupted downloads.
    I see threads (on SevenForums and EightForums) where the poster is having download corruption problems (or the solution has been to re-download the file).
    This means that the error checking/correction routines aren't 100% effective.

    Therefore, I don't trust HDD transfer error checking/correction either.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    What we really need is for the BUS speed to work faster even with current HDD's -- a horrible slow SATA laptop 2.5 inch drive can have a theoretical maximum speed of 3 GB/s -- exceeding by far your desired SSD speed of 500GB sec. There's no point in spending a fortune on getting HDD's or whatever to have data transfer rates of several GB/sec if the hardware they are used on can still only deliver 50 mb/s. !!!!
    I'd love to be able to transfer at 500 GB/s.

    If HDDs could run at 6 Gb/s (750 MB/s) instead of 800 Mb/s (100 MB/s) transfers of large files would be much faster.
    Obviously if I had the time, money and inclination, I could create a RAID5 setup, which should increase my transfer speeds.

    I have an SSD in my laptop (SanDisk Extreme II) which is supposed to have a spectacular transfer speed.
    It probably boots up in half the time it takes my desktop (AV scans are quick).

    Apart from those items, I can't say that it is impressive as it should be based on the specs.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 308
    64-bit Windows 8


    I've been expecting that change for years, and I'm surprised that it hasn't happened yet. Even in the 1980's with the old PC's, there were devices of that kind. You had to buy it separately (and they were rather expensive at first); you had to open up your computer and install it inside; and at every startup you had to run a program to configure it like a disk for MS-DOS. But their access time was faster than any disk drive then available. I think the main reason they didn't completely replace disks is that their capacity wasn't as big.
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The next data center dinosaur: Traditional storage
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